We say outrageous things like that for a couple of reasons:
First, nowhere in the Bible is plural marriage condemned or prohibited. Really. Think about it. The modern teaching that polygamy is wrong is based on inferences drawn from examples. Considering how explicit and downright graphic the Bible is in its lists of prohibited relationships and the punishments that are appropriate for each infraction, you'd think that if God had a problem with polygamy He would have stated that explicitly somewhere so we wouldn't have to guess about it. But he didn't. It's just not in there.
Second, many patriarchs of the faith whose stories are recorded in the Old Testament are approved men, held up as examples and leaders for us to emulate and follow, and if there is something about their life that is criticized, it is never having more than one wife. Again, this may sound a little weird at first, but once you dig into this a little bit, you're going to realize that in many cases you've been told that this or that problem is evidence that polygamy is wrong, or "not God's ideal", but the Bible itself speaks to the specific problem or issue, and it is never polygamy.
Finally, there is a certain logic to families potentially having more than one wife that is based on the overall logic of male-female relationships that is taught in the Bible. If you reject what the Bible teaches about male-female relationships, or think that's outdated, then it won't matter, but if your faith and practice are grounded in the Bible, and it matters what's recorded there about the distinctive responsibilities of men and women, then plural marriage makes more sense.
The Introduction link to the left will lead you to a straightforward summary presentation of the biblical case for plural marriage. The Scripture Index enables you to drill down on specific Bible passages of interest. For more information on our response to common misconceptions and arguments against plural marriage, check out our Further Reading section.
We send out a monthly newsletter featuring information on upcoming get-togethers, articles, family profiles, devotionals, and other items of interest. We will never share your email address or use it for commercial purposes.
Your help with this ministry is greatly appreciated. This is a time of great upheaval in our cultural understanding of marriage; your support will help us get the word out regarding what the Bible really says about marriage and family.
You can donate online by sending a gift to firstname.lastname@example.org using ClearXchange.com or Chase QuickPay. For credit card donations we use Square Market. And if you'd rather mail a check, make payable to "Biblical Families" and send it to Biblical Families, P.O. Box 956, Oakland, FL, 34760.
Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry!